Student Health Service Information on Zika Virus

Preparedness & Action

Zika & PregnancyZika & Sexual TransmissionUniversity Facilities Zika Response | What We Know | Additional Info & Resources

Zika and Pregnancy

As confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly, severe fetal brain defects, and other problems in infants. Pregnant women, those planning to become pregnant, and their sexual partners should take appropriate steps to prevent Zika infection.

For more information, visit the CDC’s Zika & Pregnancy webpage.

Zika and Sexual Transmission

Zika can be passed through sexual activity. Take precautions to protect yourself and your partner by wearing condoms and other barriers. For more information, visit the CDC website on Zika and sexual transmission.

The CDC provides updated information and precautions on Zika for people living in or traveling to South Florida.

UM students who are pregnant, seeking to become pregnant, or in a sexual relationship with someone pregnant or seeking to become pregnant, should avoid traveling to these areas. Pregnant women and partners of pregnant women who are concerned about potential Zika virus exposure may also consider postponing nonessential travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County. Everyone should take appropriate steps to prevent the spread of Zika by avoiding mosquito bites. Learn how to create a Zika prevention kit and view this list of effective mosquito repellents for adults, children and infants.

University Facilities Zika Response

The University of Miami has been strictly following the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines on Zika prevention, including identifying and draining areas of contained water as these locations have previously been known to be mosquito breeding grounds. The University has not identified any locations on campus where mosquitoes appear to be breeding or congregating and we continue to conduct proactive surveillance for these locations on a daily basis. Additionally, we have solicited the assistance of all University employees to immediately report any area of standing contained water to our Facilities Management and Physical Plant teams who are prepared to respond with highly targeted spraying. The FDOH and CDC have not recommended aerial or wide area spraying for any UM campus.

As an additional measure, which extends beyond current guidance, UM has engaged Miami-Dade Mosquito Control to conduct an assessment of the Coral Gables, Medical, and Rosenstiel Campuses. Mosquito dunk has also been placed in storm drains which have historically been known to be breeding locations. University of Miami officials are participating in daily conference calls with local and state partners to ensure our ongoing awareness of the very latest information regarding the Zika virus. We are prepared to implement any additional measures recommended by local government, FDOH, or the CDC.

What We Know:

• Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters. They can also bite at night.

• Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects.

• In adults, research strongly suggests an association between Zika infection and Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) with some Zika affected countries reporting an increased incidence of GBS and others not yet reporting an increase. During a prior Zika outbreak up to 24 out of every 100,000 Zika infected persons developed GBS, compared with 25-65 out of every 100,000 after infection with Campylobacter. Typically, 1- 4 out of every 100,000 persons in the general population develop Guillain-Barre Syndrome each year.

• There is no proven vaccine or known medical treatment for Zika.

Have questions about Zika?

The Florida Department of Health has created a Zika Hotline (1-855-622-6735). Calls to this hotline are being answered 24/7 by the doctors, nurses and pharmacists at Florida’s poison control centers. The service is free and fully confidential. The hotline receives timely updates from the DOH and can help people assess their risk and determine if they may have become exposed to the Zika virus.[/content_band]

Additional Information and Resources:

Zika Virus Update – Zika Cases in Florida:
Information on Zika Aerial Spraying:
Local and State Government Zika Preparedness:
About Zika:
Symptoms, Testing and Treatment:
Transmission and Risks:
Maps of Zika Cases:
Mosquito Control:
Health Effects and Risks:
CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report:
CDC Zika Virus Resources and Publications:
CDC Statistics on Zika-affected Pregnancy:
CDC Statistics on Outcomes of Zika-affected Pregnancies:
CDC Statistic on Zika Virus Cases in the United States:

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